We're Not Buying It : Stop Junk Food Marketing to Kids

Prevention Institute parents, advocates, public health officials and organizations across the country are calling for President Obama to step in and protect voluntary guidelines for food marketing to children. Sign the petition and join us.

Why? Food companies are deceiving kids. And they're making a huge profit doing so. But we're not buying it. In two minutes -- about the amount of time in a Saturday morning TV break -- you can see for yourself.

Soda companies say they've pulled sodas out of schools, but they're using school marketing campaigns disguised as charities to promote their products.

Front-of-package labels make claims that products are healthy to kids, but they really are packed with sugar, salt and or fat. Apple Jacks claim to be a good source of fiber -- the main ingredient is sugar.

Food companies use cartoons and Santa Claus in ads for "adults" or claim not to advertise to kids, but promote their products on shows like American Idol that lots of kids watch.

Parents simply can't compete with the $2 billion a year spent on kids ads promoting foods that are laden in sugar, salt and fat. We need someone to hold food and beverage companies accountable.

Federal health and consumer protection experts (known as the Interagency Working Group) have proposed reasonable, science-based nutrition guidelines to help provide a model for companies that market to kids. Unfortunately, the food industry and media companies are working to get Congress to stop the IWG from finalizing these sensible recommendations. They say they can watch over themselves.

The fact is, food companies have a poor record when it comes to monitoring themselves. Prevention Institute's study, "Claiming Health: Front-of-Package Labeling of Children's Food," looked at packages with front of package labeling -- symbols that identify healthier products and could be marketed to kids -- and found that 84 percent of products studied didn't meet basic nutritional standards.

Where's the Fruit found that the majority of foods marketed to children in packages with fruit on the front contained no fruit at all. When we put children first, the plan of action is clear: Companies should market the foods that keep kids healthy, not sugary cereals and other junk food. The IWG guidelines will help to do just that.

In response to our campaign, Congressman Lee Terry is making outrageous claims -- saying that these voluntary guidelines will stop companies from making ads for celery. Of course, food companies don't target our kids with celery ads -- they bombard them with ads for foods high in fat, sugar and/or salt. And companies that choose to follow these guidelines will be able to make all the ads they want -- they'll just have to direct them towards parents, not impressionable kids.

Important congressional testimony this Wednesday could give big food companies the chance to derail these critical standards, so we have to act fast. Watch We're Not Buying It now, sign the petition, and then share it with your friends, colleagues and networks.


Special thanks to recording artist Moby, who allowed use of his song "Look Back In," and to director Anthony Lappé.